Rangeley voters give final approval for school budget

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RANGELEY – By a vote of 63 to 51, voters gave their final OK at the polls on Monday for the $2.8 million school budget, reported town clerk Laura Haley.

Two weeks ago, voters approved the 15-article Union 37 school budget with some discussion. High energy costs and additional teacher assistant positions make up the bulk of the 2.51 percent increase over the last fiscal year’s budget. Representing a total increase of $73,000, Superintendent Phil Richardson said earlier that, like elsewhere in the county, Rangeley’s state subsidies have decreased $16,000 while the required local allocation has increased by $46,000. This effectively means that Rangeley must spend more local money to get less state money.

Included in the budget is roughly $45,000 set aside to study and implement technological upgrades for the school, in what Richardson called “bringing us into the 21st century, technology-wise.” Other future upgrades could include the aging computers in classrooms and the library. Rangeley Lakes Regional School’s technology program is directed by a volunteer board consisting of teachers, parents and administrators.

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